Photo via American Gods/Starz

Casting news, trailers, behind-the-scenes updates, and more

The first season of American Gods wowed fans with immersive storytelling, high production values, and clever additions to the original story. Season 2 is already in the works, but you may have to wait a while for it to arrive. Like Westworld, this is the kind of show that takes more than a year to make.

Now’s your chance to star in American Gods season 2! If you fall into a pretty specific demographic, anyway. Neil Gaiman tweeted an open casting call on May 9, searching for a First Nation/Native American actress aged 18 to mid-20s. Starz is looking for someone to play Sam Black Crow, a hitchhiker who Shadow picks up during a solo leg of his road trip.

Season 2 was up in the air earlier this year as showrunners Michael Green and Bryan Fuller suddenly announced their departure from the series on Nov. 29. According to Variety, Fuller and Green clashed with FremantleMedia, which produces American Gods, and apparently wanted a budget increase for season 2 episodes.

Jesse Alexander, who previously worked with Fuller on Hannibal and Star Trek: Discovery, took over as showrunner in February.

Green previously said the series would take on an “angrier” attitude for a darker world in its sophomore airing, partly inspired by contemporary politics. While it’s unclear what direction the series might take under new leadership, here is what we knew about season 2 up until this point.

american gods salim Photo via American Gods/Starz

American Gods season 2 cast

The main cast will obviously reprise their roles, including Ricky Whittle (Shadow Moon), Ian McShane (Mr. Wednesday) and Emily Browning (Laura Moon). Judging by how the season ended, we expect to see more expanded roles for secondary characters like Bilquis (Yetide Badaki) and Salim (Omid Abtahi).

Gillian Anderson won’t return for season 2, a decision precipitated by the departure of showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green. She previously worked with Fuller on Hannibal and confirmed in January that she quit American Gods after Fuller left the show.

Kristen Chenoweth, who starred in Fuller’s fantasy romcom series Pushing Daisies, seems unsure if she’ll reprise her role as Easter in season 2. “It depends on who [the new showrunner] is and if they think I add value or not,” she said in Dec. 2017. She and Anderson both have busy careers, and appeared in American Gods specifically because they enjoy working with Fuller. It’s unclear whether Starz will recast Media (and potentially Easter), or write the characters out of the show.

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Season 2 will add some new characters, although they haven’t officially been cast yet. Co-creator and former showrunner Bryan Fuller has already talked about introducing Mama-Ji (an Indian woman with a minor role in the book) and Sam Black Crow (a Native American hitchhiker), among others. Season 1 gave more screentime to background characters from the book, as well as adding new roles like the volcano god Vulcan.

TV Line reports that as of April 2018, Starz is planning to replace Gillian Anderson’s Media with a different character, New Media. The show is supposedly looking for a 20-something Asian woman to play a deity symbolizing social media. This idea kind of sounds like it’s already covered by the Tech Boy, but we’ll just have to wait and see!

american gods season 2 vulcan Photo via American Gods/Starz

Deadline is reporting that Sakina Jaffrey (Mr. RobotTimeless) has been cast as Mama-ji, a Hindu goddess of war (and one of the Old Gods) who works as a server at Motel America. In the American Gods novel, Mama-ji also goes by the name Kali.

On June 4, American Gods announced three new additions to the cast. Devery Jacobs will play Sam Black Crow, Kahyun Kim will play New Media, replacing Gillian Anderson, and Dean Winters will play Mr. Town, another of Mr. World’s disciples.

American Gods season 2 news

Jesse Alexander, who has written on Star Trek: Discovery and Hannibal, has been tapped as the new American Gods showrunner, according to a new report from the Hollywood Reporter. The move comes several months after Fuller and Green’s departure, with “several established showrunners” having turned down the job during the search for a new showrunner.

“I’m thrilled that Jesse is [the] showrunner. He loves and understands the book, he loves and understands the TV series and he’s dedicated to making future seasons of American Gods as good and as beautiful and as unique as they can be,” Gaiman said. “Shadow’s journey is going to take him, and Mr. Wednesday, and the New Gods and the Old, to some very strange places. I’m glad that we, and the cast and crew, will have Jesse shepherding us on the way.”

american gods season 2 news American Gods/Starz

Gaiman was reportedly displeased with the direction that Fuller and Green’s plan for season 2 was going and preferred a more straightforward adaptation of his novel. Although Fuller and Green had already written six of their planned 10-episode season 2, Freemantle looks to start over with a new showrunner and the episode count may decrease.

According to a tweet from Tech Boy actor Bruce Langley, season 2 is now underway. He shared a photo with some key cast members and producers, but there’s still no word on who will replace Gillian Anderson.

amercian gods season 2 news @BruceJLangley/Twitter

On April 30, Gaiman posted a cast photo from one of the most anticipated locations in season 2: the biggest carousel in the world.

american gods carousel Neil Gaiman/Twitter

Gaiman also revealed that American Gods has officially started production on season 2 and will return in 2019.

American Gods season 2 plot

As we discussed in our season 1 finale recapAmerican Gods had to shorten its first season due to budgetary concerns. The original plan was to end the season at the “House on the Rock” scene from the book, an epic meeting between the Old Gods. However, the showrunners wound up trimming the season to eight episodes to meet their production budget, meaning they had to create a new (and slightly disappointing) showdown for the finale.

The last episode ends with a road sign pointing toward the House on the Rock, signaling an important meeting between Mr. Wednesday and his peers, with Bilquis present as an undercover agent for the New Gods, and Salim on his way to confront the Djinn.

If you’ve read the book, you’ll know that its sprawling plot is not necessarily suited a structured TV show with season-wide arcs. That’s why the showrunners worked with Neil Gaiman to make changes in season 1, and that’s why season 2 may stray further from the original. In particular, the finale set up an interesting new facet to the story: a famine caused by Ostara (Kristen Chenoweth). This could indicate more “real” impact on the everyday humans of America, rather than restricting the conflict to the gods themselves.

In an interview with the Wrap, Fuller said that Shadow will have a “much more exciting arc in season 2 than he did in season 1,” kicking off from the events of the finale. Since Shadow now truly believes in Mr. Wednesday and is aware of what happened to his wife Laura, he’s free to be a more active figure in the war between the Old and New Gods.

American Gods season 2 trailer

Needless to say, the American Gods season 2 trailer hasn’t arrived yet, but we’ll keep you posted.

American Gods season 2 release date

Starz hasn’t confirmed an official release date, but the return is now slated for 2019. They’re planning to make 10-episode season, two episodes longer than season 1.

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested.

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